Detroit City Council vacancy: Investigating the candidates

Politicians are great at telling you all about their good points and most of the 16 candidates hoping to fill the vacancy on the Detroit City Council are no exception.

After ML Elrick exposed some of the current city council's secrets, he promised to investigate the folks hoping to join them.

Elrick uncovered some gems -  including one accused of pistol whipping a woman and using his car to run down a man. 

Here is a list of his top five (or is it the bottom five) most colorful candidates for city council.

No. 5 David Bullock

Bullock gets around -- and has the parking tickets to prove it.

One of those tickets was for parking in a handicapped spot. 

He paid that one - but he owes the city more than $500 for unpaid tickets.

Bullock doesn't just forget to pay his tickets, he forgets to vote.

He failed to vote in 20 of the 31 elections held since he registered to vote in Detroit in 2002 - and that's only half the story.

City election records show that Bullock has listed a church as his home when he registered to vote.

State law says you must register using your home address and Bullock says that's what he did. He says he lived like a monk up on the third floor.

No. 4 Paula Humphries

A former judge who has had financial problems, Humphries was making more than $138,000 when she lost a home to foreclosure.

Around that time she also filed for bankruptcy. Among the financial difficulties she listed, was $5,000 in gambling losses.

But to her credit, Humphries filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. That's the version for folks who plan to eventually pay everyone back.

Still, the bankruptcy trustee was not happy when Humphries tried to hold onto her brand new Jeep Commander and two timeshares. 

The trustee called them "luxury items."

No. 3 Fred Durhal, Jr. 

There's nothing in the city charter that says you have to be good with money - and that's good news for former state representative Durhal.

Durhal has been battling debt collectors for 20 years. When he filed for bankruptcy in 2005, Durhal revealed that he owed city, state and federal taxes dating back to 1993.

Somehow, he still managed to drive an expensive Cadillac.

Even after emerging from bankruptcy and earning a salary of more than $70,000 as a state representative - Durhal continued to have trouble with money.

In 2012, a lawyer said Durhal owed him $7,000 and a judge ordered him to pay.

No. 2 David Nathan

Like Durhal, Nathan is a former state representative  looking for work because of term limits.

Nathan is also well acquainted with the legal system - in 2011, a State House employee sued Nathan for firing him.

The worker said he took two weeks off to be with his wife and premature baby. He said he "returned from leave on April 1 and was fired that day."

The case was dismissed because state lawmakers are exempt from the family and medical leave act. 

Nathan said he didn't single the worker out, he says he fired his entire staff for poor performance.

In 2009, Nathan was sued for tens of thousands of dollars - and subsequently filed for bankruptcy.

That case went fairly smoothly, which is more than one can say for his wife's bankruptcy in 2006.

In that case, the bankruptcy trustee objected when she and Nathan deposited a check for $13,000 into an account.

The trustee said that amount to "knowingly and fraudulently" trying to cheat creditors. The Nathans eventually agreed to give $5,000 back.

If Nathan gets the city council gig, one hopes he goes to City Hall more often than he went to the state Capitol in Lansing. 

Only one of Michigan's 110 state reps missed more votes than Nathan during his final term. Nathan said he missed votes to care for a sick relative. 

No. 1 Dustin Campbell

Last -- and least -- is Campbell.

The year 2002 was a year he'd probably rather forget.

First, he was convicted in Florida of battery after he was arrested for assaulting a woman. 

The police report says he "struck her several times on the head and the face with the gun." The woman later filed an affidavit asking officials to drop the charges.

Campbell pleaded no contest and adjudication was withheld.  Before long, he was back in jail. 

After a feud with his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend, police say Campbell "struck him with the front of his vehicle ... the man went up in the air, landed on his hood, and ended up on the pavement."

A jury found Campbell guilty of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Three of these candidates have something in common besides their tribulations and trials. Humphries, Durhal and Nathan were nominated by George Cushingberry. 

Come back Thursday for the next installment in Elrick's ongoing investigation. 

To learn more about each of the candidates listed in this report, click on their names in the story and their pictures to access their resumes and other documents they submitted to the city council.


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